Sunday, November 29, 2009

Los Angeles Times: "Opera Barihunks Hit A Muscular Tone"

[Nathan Gunn in Billy Budd]

[Matthew Worth]

[Tom Forde]

Kudos to the Los Angeles Times for Irene Lacher's wonderful article on Nathan Gunn and the rising popularity of barihunks. Two of our favorite young singers, Matthew Worth and Tom Forde, were featured, as well.

Forde will be performing the title role in Mozart's the Marriage of Figaro at the Tacoma Opera on March 5 & 7.

Matthew Worth has been receiving acclaim for both his voice and his good looks. Here are two recent reviews.

Ted Mahne wrote in the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "Matthew Worth offered a particular highlight as Mercutio. He gave an agile and pleasing rendering of the tricky 'Queen Mab' aria. A striking performer, watch for his star to rise."

Jerry Floyd wrote in Opera about Worth's performance in "The Rape of Lucretia" at Castleton: "A trio of barihunks proved that well-trained, carefully directed younger singers can deliver polished, high-quality portrayals; especially Worth, whose wrathful Etruscan character seemed intuitively to sense the consequences of his assault on Lucretia."

Oddly, Worth's management site doesn't have his schedule.

Since the L.A. Times raised the issue of barihunks, here are a few more of our favorites:

[The super sexy Randal Turner, who we're hoping to see in the U.S. soon]

[Exotic Wes Mason, who will be starring in "Before Night Falls" in Ft. Worth]

[Kelly Markgraf will be in Omaha singing Count Almaviva]

[Adrian Kramer sporting his guns]



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hot Schrott to Perform WIth Hot Trio of Barihunks

[Photos from]

We haven't featured über-barihunk Erwin Schrott in awhile, so we thought we would check to see what's on his schedule. It looks like Milan's La Scala has him engaged through February 2010.

He'll be singing Carmen with hunkentenor Jonas Kaufmann and fellow barihunk, Austrian Mathias Hausmann as Morales.

[Mathias Hausmann]

A month later, he'll be joining two other barihunks, Mirco Palazzi and Alex Esposito, in Don Giovanni, where he will sing the role of the title character. Alex Esposito has been featured on this site before and is known for his compelling stage performance. He'll be singing Leporello and Palazzi will perform Masetto.

Mathias Hausmann studied singing with Karl Ernst Hoffmann in Graz as well as with Ryland Davies at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School of the Royal College of Music in London.

Hausmann has been a member of the ensemble at the Volksoper in Vienna where he has become a fan favorite. His barihunk roles include Papageno and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Thirty-one year old Mirco Palazzi studied singing in Pesaro with Robleto Merolla. He has performed in Naples, Parma, Ravenna, Stuttgart, Japan, Naples and at La Scala.

He can be heard on the Opera Rara recordings of Rossini’s Zelmira and Adelaide di Borgogna (live from the Edinburgh International Festival), Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei and Il diluvio universale and highlights of Meyerbeer’s L’esule di Granata.



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Three Barihunks in Mathy Awards Finals

We went online to check out the new video of the Australian Singing Competition 2009 Mathy Awards winners. We knew that Barihunks regular Hadleigh Adams was competing and we were rooting for him. But were we ever thrilled to discover that of the five finalists, three were barihunks. Adams was joined by Lachlan Scott and Sam Roberts-Smith, who won the competition.

Here is the video from the competition and some bios of the three hunks from Down Under:

Sam Roberts-Smith is a 22-year-old barihunk who was born in Perth, Australia. He completed a Bachelor of Music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Roberts-Smith was a Finalist in the McDonald’s Operatic Aria and a recipient of The Michelle Robinson Scholarship for voice; the McCaw-Marsh Entry Scholarship; the Lionel Edgerton Scholarship and the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney Scholarship, 2006. He was recently selected as a Finalist in the New York Study Award.

His WAAPA Repertoire includes: Harry Easter: Street Scene (Kurt Weill), Maxamillian: Candide (Leonard Bernstein), Boniface: Angelique (Jaques Ibert) Demetrius: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Benjamin Britten). Other roles: Guglielmo: Così fan tutte (Mozart) – Pacific Opera, Batavia (Richard Mills) – WAO.

Roberts-Smith appeared as a Soloist with The Sydney Symphony Youth Orchestra and The Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra and Chorale. His broadcasts for ABC Classic FM include Rising Stars and Sunday Live.

Adelaide-born Bass Lachlan Scott completed a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice Performance at the Elder Conservatorium in 2007, culminating a 15-year relationship with renowned Bass-Baritone Robert Dawe.

For State Opera of South Australia he has performed the roles of Sid in La Fanciulla del West and Caronte in their acclaimed studio production of Underneath, based on Monteverdi’s Orfeo, and has covered the roles of The Mandarin (Turandot) and Count Ceprano (Rigoletto). He has also sung regularly with the SOSA chorus since their 2004 production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He performed a principal role in each of the Elder Conservatorium opera productions from 2003-2007, including Doctor Bartolo (Figaro), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), and Don Alfonso (Cosi fan Tutte). For Co-Opera, he will perform the role of Don Basilio in Barbiere di Siviglia in late 2009.

He has extensive oratorio experience, performing bass arias and solos for a variety of Adelaide-based groups in Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and the Mozart and Fauré Requiem masses.

Also an experienced chorister, he has been a core member of the award-winning and internationally recognised Adelaide Chamber Singers, directed by Carl Crossin, since 2005.

New Zealand bass baritone Hadleigh Adams was born in Palmerston North, and completed a Bachelor of Music degree in 2006 under the tutelage of Dr Te Oti Rakena at the University of Auckland . He went on to complete his Masters degree in Music, studying with Margaret Medlyn and Jenny Wollerman at the New Zealand School of Music, graduating in 2007. In February 2009, Hadleigh relocated to Australia, to take up his position as the Gertrude Johnson Scholar at Australia’s new opera studio, The Opera School - Melbourne.

In New Zealand, Hadleigh has already forged an impressive operatic and concert career. He has been a member of the NBR New Zealand Opera since 2004, and since this time has performed in all main stage productions with the company. In 2006 he was invited to begin understudying principal roles, and perform minor lead roles. Throughout 2007/2008 he was the PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging artist with the NBR New Zealand Opera, during which time he was awarded the prestigious
Circle100 Scholarship.

Hadleigh was a finalist in The Australian Singing Competition Mathy Award, and was a national finalist in the 2009 Final Opera Australia Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Auditions. The recipient of many other awards and scholarships, Hadleigh has also received scholarship offers for postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Scottish Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and has been accepted to the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

In 2009 Hadleigh has enjoyed a busy concert schedule, both in Australia and New Zealand. Opera roles include Papageno in The Magic Flute; Coppelius in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas; Baritone in Four Note Opera and Bob in The Old Maid & the Thief. Concert engagements will include; Purcell’s Come Ye Sons of Art (Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra); J.S. Bach’s St John Passion (The Orpheus Choir); David Hamilton’s Breaking the Quiet (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra); and Handel’s Messiah (RMPS, and Napier Civic Choir).



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ukrainian Barihunk to Make Met Debut

[Alexander Tsymbalyuk]

We have just learned that 33-year-old Ukrainian barihunk Alexander Tsymbalyuk has been engaged by the Metropolitan Opera. We're not sure yet what role he'll be singing, but we'll let our readers know as soon as we find out.

Tsymbalyuk is a currently a member of the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera where he has performed in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Das Rheingold, La Traviata, Turandot, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Rigoletto, La Bohème, Tannhäuser and Billy Budd. Let's hope that his Met role is as the sexy lead in Billy Budd.

Now if the Met would engage Randal Turner, we'd really be happy. It's a mystery to us why great American talent gets showcased in Europe and not in the United States.

[Randal Turner]



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Monday, November 23, 2009

Matthew Worth Heats Up New Orleans

Barihunks favorite Matthew Worth just wrapped up two performances as Mercutio at the New Orleans Opera. We have been trying to get pictures from the production, but so far, it's been to no avail. Here's what the Times-Picayune review had to say.

Matthew Worth offered a particular highlight as Mercutio. He gave a agile and pleasing rendering of the tricky “Queen Mab” aria. A striking performer, watch for his star to rise.

We'll keep an eye out for pictures.



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Monday, November 16, 2009

Martin Achrainer to Premier new Philip Glass Opera

Composer Philip Glass' latest opera is the story of Johannes Kepler (1571—1630), a founding father of modern science who discovered the laws of planetary motion.

His new score is described as "spacious, elemental, and imbued with wonder" on Glass' website. The hypnotic score becomes the sound of the cosmos as we witness Kepler struggling to reconcile scientific discovery with the divine.

Celebrated conductor Dennis Russell Davies and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz support a stellar cast and 42-member chorus drawn from the Upper Austrian State Theatre, Linz. This means that our main character is being performed by barihunk Martin Achrainer, a regular on this site. The opera will premier on November 20th at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and then move on to Linz Landestheater on November 27th. Click on the BAM link to the left to hear Philip Glass discuss the opera.

Here is a profile of Martin Achrainer (in German) talking about the role, as well as a preview of the opera:



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peter Mattei in "From the House of the Dead"

[Above photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times]

[Above photo by Bebeto Matthews]

Janacek's operas may be the most unfairly neglected works on the American stage. Jenufa, The Makropoulos Case and Katya Kabanova are always dramatically rich experiences in the opera house. Suddenly, there are productions of the less famous "From the House of the Dead" running in both Basel and at the Metropolitan Opera, where these two photos are taken.

The entire cast is men, so you can be assured that there are always plenty of barihunks and other hunks on the stage. Although many productions of the opera can get racy, including shower scenes, the Met played it on the conservative side. Peter Mattei was the most notable barihunk in this production (he is seen in the bottom photo).

You can click HERE to read Anthony Tommasini's informative review in the New York Times or read James Jorden's review in the New York Post by clicking HERE.



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Monday, November 9, 2009

A SEXY Don Giovanni at New York City Opera

If this is the look of the George Steel era at New York City Opera then we at Barihunks heartily approve. There was a lot of controversy and discussion about his hiring, particularly amongst opera aficionados on the East Coast. From what we heard from people who had worked with him, we knew all along that he would make the "People's Opera" interesting and he's lived up to his reputation.

[Jason Hardy as Leporello and Daniel Okulitch as Don Giovanni; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

[Joélle Harvey as Zerlina and Kelly Markgraf as Masetto; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

Here is how City Opera described this new production:

Visionary director Christopher Alden reimagines this masterwork in a thrilling new production which explores the intersection of dark eroticism and strict Spanish-Catholic tradition in the early 20th century. Rising star Daniel Okulitch makes his City Opera debut as the notorious antihero.

[Jason Hardy as Leporello, Keri Alkema as Donna Elvira, Kelly Markgraf as Masetto, Joélle Harvey as Zerlina, Gregory Turay as Don Ottavio and Stefania Dovhan as Donna Anna; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

[Jason Hardy as Leporello; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

[Daniel Okulitch as Don Giovanni; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

Don Giovanni provides a lot of material for this site and we're grateful for some wonderful new images from NYCO. For more information visit the New York City Opera website. The production runs through November 22nd.

[Clockwise: Kelly Markgraf as Masetto, Gregory Turay as Don Ottavio, Keri Alkema as Donna Elvira, Stefania Dovhan as Donna Anna, Daniel Okulitch as Don Giovanni (center), Jason Hardy as Leporello and Joélle Harvey as Zerlina; Photo by © Carol Rosegg]

It is important the New York City has two major opera companies and this production shows why. City Opera will put on productions that one will never see at the Met. If you're in the New York, we encourage you to support this new regime which is working its way back to financial viability.



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Philip Cutlip in Glass' Orphée

[Photo from Portland Opera by Cory Weaver]

The hunky Philip Cutlip performs the title role in Philip Glass' opera Orphée. For more information visit the Portland Opera website.



Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three Barihunks in Boston Lyric's "Carmen"

[Top photo of Greg Gerbrandt; Bottom photo of Daniel Mobbs by Jeffrey Dunn for Boston Lyric Opera]

We love any opera with a barihunk, but three barihunks in one opera is bariheaven. That's just what Boston Lyric Opera has put together, with Daniel Mobbs as Escamillo, Andrew Garland as Dancaïro, and a favorite on this site, Gregory Gerbrandt as Morales.

In this production we think Carmen should dump Don Jose and run off to Valencia with Dancaïro, Morales and Escamillo. Now that's living like a true gypsy!

Click HERE for tickets and information.


Subscribe to Barihunks by Email

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Sexy Don From the Hot Pole

It doesn't matter who directs Mariusz Kwiecien in Don Giovanni, he still manages to ooze sex. At the Bavarian State Opera German director Stephan Kimmig splatters him in blood, shaves his head, throws a cheap blond wig on him and even surrounds him by butchered pigs, but the Hot Pole still seethes with his usual sensuality. His counterpart, once again, is barihunk Alex Esposito.

He remains the most interesting actor among male singers in operas. Kwiecien and Esposito works incredibly well together on stage, so even if you don't like the production, the acting is outstanding.

For more information about the production, visit the Bavarian State Opera website.


Subscribe to Barihunks by Email